What if there was someone you could trust with every hidden detail of your life without jeopardizing the friendship? Some time back I was both challenged and convicted by a timely story that was shared by my dear friend, Pastor Jim Owen. A fellow brother in the faith had once told Jim that “Jesus Christ is more real to me than you are.” As Pastor Owen conveyed that story I remember thinking, “Jesus Christ is not that real to me
!” I yearned and hoped for that same type of deep abiding intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ. I also realized in that unsettling moment how very shallow and impersonal my relationship with Christ had been. The Holy Spirit used that message to speak to my heart and I realized that my relationship with Jesus Christ lacked depth and true understanding. So I asked my Heavenly Father for the spiritual understanding to know Christ as my closest and dearest friend.
We should have no greater friend than the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean this with the greatest level of reverence and honor. Jesus is not like another close friend who comes around occasionally to give us a hug, hearty hand shake, or word of good advice when we need some encouragement. He is God; and as God, He is perfect, holy, righteous, and pure in every way. Jesus Christ is worthy of worship and praise with all sincerity. He is worthy of all respect and esteem. But I want you to make note that these are the clear scriptural realities that make our relationship with Jesus Christ so very extraordinary. Think about it. The Sovereign Creator of all things is reconciled with sinful man. He has chosen to dwell in us and has become our friend. I am the friend of Jesus!
Our time with the Lord Jesus Christ is never restricted or limited by any of the necessary responsibilities of daily life. He is assessable and available anywhere and anytime. In addition, we can always be open and honest with Jesus regarding every minuscule detail of our life and never have fears that our friendship is in jeopardy of deteriorating. We can trust Him with every concern and know that He will meet every spiritual need in our life according to His perfect will. Indeed, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). He will never forsake you!
Much of my Christian life has been marked with the laborious efforts of attempting to fulfill urgent Christian duties and responsibilities without giving much thought to Christ. I lacked a genuine desire to know and focus on Jesus and failed to recognize that I am complete in Him and that God is satisfied by Christ. As a result, He became subordinate to my personal goals and my passion to perform the duties of the Christian life. I do not mean that He never crossed my mind or that He did not claim some limited attention. And I am certainly not implying that I ever lived a successful and victorious life apart from Christ. But I know now that I had conveniently reserved Him for those stormy days of my life and didn’t really know Him. Like many other Christians today, I often found myself on a search and rescue mission—searching for the truth that would rescue me from my problems.
Jesus Christ was simply not preeminent in the practical aspects of my daily life. So the Divine Husbandman, with great accuracy, used the sharp shears of His word, trials, and chastisement to prune and purge the activities of my life that prevented me from knowing the sufficiency and preeminence of Jesus Christ. For years I failed to really see it but I know now that this process of pruning and purging never ceases. Don’t be afraid of our Father in Heaven. He loves us and will only do or allow that which is best in our life. The Heavenly Father’s master plan for our life is ultimately the same. His will is for us to know Christ as our closest friend. Is Jesus Christ your dearest friend?